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Thread: Spaniels and deer stalking

  1. #1

    Spaniels and deer stalking

    Hi all,

    Does anyone have a spaniel (cocker or springer) that they use to stalk and track deer?

    Not likely to be the deer stalker's first choice admitedly but I've always been keen on getting a spaniel for game work and just as a general sporting companion. Perhaps a relatively calm tempered cocker who can walk to heel and be content with prolonged quiet and slow walks may be a possibility.

    Thanks,

    DC

    P.S. I am aware that they can need a lot of exercise - that is a plus point for me. I'm just curious to know what they are like when you do need them to keep quiet and close to heel.

  2. #2
    Not going to say it's impossible but IMO calm,prolonged quiet and slow walks just do not fit in with the cocker/springer spaniel.
    There are many breeds of dog that will work deer. There are some that can be dual dogs working both game and deer. To my mind spaniels do not fit into either category. Personally I would be looking at a lab or GWP.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    Not going to say it's impossible but IMO calm,prolonged quiet and slow walks just do not fit in with the cocker/springer spaniel.
    There are many breeds of dog that will work deer. There are some that can be dual dogs working both game and deer. To my mind spaniels do not fit into either category. Personally I would be looking at a lab or GWP.
    Agree entirely with gazza

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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    Not going to say it's impossible but IMO calm,prolonged quiet and slow walks just do not fit in with the cocker/springer spaniel.
    There are many breeds of dog that will work deer. There are some that can be dual dogs working both game and deer. To my mind spaniels do not fit into either category. Personally I would be looking at a lab or GWP.
    Another agreement with above.

    I have 2 labs, a cocker and a GWP. I'm not saying the cocker would be useless at it nor would she be incapable of finding a deer, but her character, style of working etc does not lend itself to deer stalking.

    I once owned a springer though that sadly was put down at 8 years old with cancer. She may have been the only exception I have owned regarding a spaniel as a deer dog. Very, very calm when asked to be and as good as any lab on ducks. Maybe there was a cross somewhere in her lineage...

  5. #5
    I have a 20 month old black cocker bitch who i use as a tracking dog. She took to it like a duck to water. She is steady to heal but i don't trust her enough to accompany me stalking as she is still susceptible to the occasional cat chase! She waits in the motor and comes out afterwards.

    I would recommend a cocker to anyone but they are harder to train than a lab.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ATB

    Rob
    243Sako
    Last edited by 243Sako; 18-09-2011 at 15:08.

  6. #6
    I have a Springer and is spot on for the stalking,and tracking.Even tries a retrieve sometimes but doesnt get far.


  7. #7
    A spaniel may not be the most suitable breed, but if thats what you want, well go for it.
    They may take a bit more training than a lab or others but I can not see it being a problem.
    Saying that a lot of people poo poo them for peg dogs, well my two will sit on the peg all day and not move.
    IMHO it is all horses for courses, if you are in to all other shooting especially a bit of rough shooting then great.
    Its what suits you at the end of the day.

    ATB

    Nick.

  8. #8
    Thanks chaps.

    As expected I suppose. My friend has a couple of cracking labs and you can see how they're good at turning their hand to game or deer. In all honesty it isn't an essential requirement that the dog (if, as, and when I get one) would have to stalk with me. It is good to see though that some of you have had some success and for that reason I am not entirely put off.

    Thanks.

    DC

  9. #9
    My cocker is far more trustworthy when stalking than he is when gameshooting.
    He will sit under a highseat silently for as long as he can see me in it and walks to heel faultlessly with the slower pace and lack of distractions from, for example, other dogs when stalking as opposed to game or rough shooting.
    He takes the throat of dead deer when told to 'get on' to a shot roe and would, I am sure, take a wounded beast similarly if required.
    I enjoy his company more when stalking than at any other time.
    A major factor when deciding on a cocker was my opinion that a cocker would be better company than a dirty great labrador belching and farting it's way through the night when grabbing a few hours kip in the car between stalks!

  10. #10
    Ha - I'll be the only one belching and farting thank you! Like you I don't need a dog to join in too.

    Thanks for your comments. Very interesting.

    DC

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